2012-06-15 / Columnists

Rockaway Walks Fitness Column

Healthy People 2020 … Enduring Q & A
Commentary By Steven McCartney, IPO, HSW, MS

This article focuses on Healthy Lifestyle Changes … into the year 2020.

If you periodically read about and are looking for healthy lifestyle changes to carry you into the year 2020 and beyond then you would like to know your choices.

Luckily, with the help of the Internet and your health care provider, many of us have more opportunities than ever before to look up questions and concerns we are presently faced with; and objectives that each of us may have to actualize our overall community and individual health and fitness goals.

However, most of us are not familiar with global, national and local resources (visit website HealthyPeople. gov).

Today more than ever, our community needs people like you who are willing to take on local concerns and to overcome the factors that limit people and communities from making healthy lifestyle changes; remember you can’t do it alone especially if you have a narrow scope (review The Wave article Form a Support Team or Communicate Any Changes) This is a team effort across our lifespan. In this article I will ask and give an overview of 10 enduring questions to provide insight to a valuable resource more within your reach than most people realize. Let’s learn more about Healthy People 2020! I ask upon reading this article that you continue to explore your ideas (sciencebased) that can be put into action by getting involved; take a stance and support life-long learning.

So, what is Healthy People 2020? It is a 10-year strategic planning tool for public health professionals at the federal, state, and local levels with science based national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. The Healthy People 2020 is based on four previous Healthy People initiatives. Starting with (1) the 1979 Surgeon- General report: The Surgeon-General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (2) Healthy People 1990: Promoting Health/Preventing Disease: Objectives for the Nation (3) Healthy People 2000: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives and (4) Healthy People 2010: Objectives for Improving Health. They were developed under the leadership of the Federal Interagency Workgroup (FIW), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies, public stakeholders and the advisory committee. The Vision, Mission and Goals are located at website HealthPeople.gov.

2. What are the main goals? Healthy People 2020 presently has four outreaching goals and four health measures to serve as indicators of achieving goals.

Four outreaching goals: (1) Attain high quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death. (2) Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups. (3) We must create social and physical environments that promote good health for all. (4) Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behavior across all life stages. The four health measure goals across the lifespan are: (1) General Health Status (2) Health Related Quality of Life and Well Being (3) Determinates of Health (Biology and Genetics, Individual Behaviors, Social Interventions, Physical Environment, Assess to Health Services) (4) Disparities.

3. How many topics does it cover? Healthy People 2020 contain 42 topic areas with nearly 600 objectives (with others still evolving), which encompass 1,200 measures. A smaller set of Healthy People 2020 objectives called Leading Health Indicators, known as high priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them. The 12 leading health indicators are: Access to Health Services; Clinical Preventive Services, Environmental Quality, Injury and Violence, Mental, Infant, and Child Health, Mental Health, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Oral Health, Reproductive and Sexual Health, Social Determinants, Substance Abuse, Tobacco.

4. Name three topics located at the site HealthyPeople.gov that interest you? I chose (1) Nutrition, Physical Activity, Obesity. (2) Social Determinants (3) Access to Health Services. What three topics would you find?

5. Choose one topic from question four and state what its goal is?

Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity goal is to ensure that all Americans eat a healthful diet, participate in regular physical activity, and achieve and maintain a healthy body weight critical to improving the health of Americans at every age. (go to ChooseMyPlate.gov – great site)

6. Describe two background points about this area noted on the HP website?

Point one, most Americans do not eat a healthy diet and are not physically active at levels needed to maintain proper health. Point two, 1 in 3 adults and an even lower proportion of adolescents eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day; 81.6 percent of adults and 81.8 percent of adolescents don’t get recommended physical activity. Obesity related conditions include heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, which are leading causes of death.

7. What solutions are discussed?

Together a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help people:

(1) Achieve and maintain a healthy weight (2) Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke (3) Reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer (4) Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints (5) Improve mood and energy level: Reduction in risk of obesity.

8. Identify or list one resource that can help with this problem?

Good Nutrition, regular physical activity, and achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight are cornerstones of health at every stage of life.

Example of a built environment that has critical impact on behaviors that influence health – Communities need to develop fresh food markets, places to play or be active. (Another good resource is USDA ChooseMyplate.gov, topics consist of super tracker, daily food plans, How Many Calories are used, calories count chart for mixed dishes, empty calories chart, solid fats chart, BMI calculator, portion distortion, food labeling).

9. State whether in your own opinion the goals and strategies (you find) make sense and why. I believe that the framework for reaching healthy people 2020 goals is to find the determinants of health in order to support interventions and the outcomes with assess, monitor, evaluate and disseminate equity to all Americans across the lifespan; Healthy food choices, activities that are moderate and intense and provide health development.

10. Should the web page be clearer or should there be more goals or fewer goals in my opinion? I like the resource that the Healthy People.gov website provides. It is eco friendly and the links are supported to Journal articles (science based). The website was easy to navigate.

In conclusion, I think that initiatives by the leadership of the Federal Interagency

Workgroup (FIW) provide a framework to implement plans to assure all Americans the ability to improve their present state, which is good for the country at large. Within the next 10 years I can see shifts in what may or may not be health risk factors. It is important that we continue to assess, monitor, evaluate and disseminate. Yes I think this initiative helps target, maintain and identify old and new issues.

The goal of this article is to promote equity and support literacy in health, fitness and wellness across social-economic strata.

This article is dedicated to the sixth anniversary of Rockaway Walks; the season (12 weeks) that begins June 23 and ends September 8 (All fitness levels Welcome!!). Special thanks go out to Councilman James Sanders (and Donovan Richards, Chief of Staff), St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Joseph Addabbo Health Center, Stop N Shop, Modell’s Sporting Goods, CUNY University Student Senate, York College, The Wave newspaper, and Healthy Lifestyle Changes, Inc. For questions or concerns contact me at steven_ mccart ney@walkprograms.com.

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